By Steven Tavares

About a year ago, I was having a conversation about Margarita Lacabe, the wife of San Leandro School Board Trustee Mike Katz-Lacabe and propagator of an inquiry into my emails with city councilmembers and city employees. The well-known political consultant I was chatting with and known for his sometimes salty language said she has bigger balls than Mike, if the oftentimes meek school board members had any at all.

Without doing due diligence, her latest escapade adds to her reputation as the Doyenne of Discontent as she attempts to portray herself as the city’s newest investigative blogger under the guise of quelling the most independent voice against Mayor Stephen Cassidy, seems to prove him correct.

Whatever Lacabe’s reasons for requesting emails to and from me to city employees, the former mayor and members of City Council, the intent is clearly to intimidate a rapidly burgeoning amount of discord among city employees against Cassidy’s actions and foster fear of retribution in the event any of them should ponder blowing the whistle against his administration.
Cassidy may deny any role in Lacabe’s actions to dig for information given to me by city officials and employees, but make no mistake, Cassidy’s inner circle worked diligently to get him elected and have increasingly shown a fervor to remake San Leandro in the eyes of a sometimes competing band of liberals in the San Leandro Hills.

Very few in San Leandro have been able to dodge a conflict with the notoriously unstable Margarita Lacabe who has brought her brand of hubristic opinions to her own San Leandro blog. Apparently, she is also a self-made media expert who frequently uses the phrase, “I think” to punctuate her points. Incidentally, does the Katz Family have a bustling newsroom in their basement, or what? What’s the progeny of two hard-working bloggers to do but create their own kid blog and rail against the blatant use of imitation mac and cheese by the cafeteria lady at Roosevelt Elemenetary?

All joking aside, the fascistic use of undermining the press in the name of transparency is a tautology only George Orwell could appreciate. Don’t be fooled, though, despite their sometimes diva ways and self-serving opinions, this group of Cassidy, the Katz’s and their platinum earringed cohort, Tim Holmes, are united in their dislike of city institutions important to many San Leandrans such as the police department. They have pooled their rhetoric to punch holes in its usefulness along with a continued effort to undermine hundreds of city employees under the guise of fiscal prudence. Guess what? Among East Bay cities, San Leandro is sitting the prettiest when it comes to pensions and budget sustainability.

In the end, Team Cassidy is using intimidation to put forth a platform more interested in furthering a possible political career in Sacramento on the backs of creating a template for taming the interests of the working class and unions. Taking a prying eye to the concerns of the detracting opinions of city employees is only part of that mechanism and the real defenders of the truth, you and I, should find these actions as an insidious affront to democracy and the utility of journalists to objectively report the actions of government.

As I have long told the Katz Family bloggers, either be public officials, like you are, or be citizen bloggers. Choose one, but not both because more times than not that unholy alliance is used for political expediency and misinformation. Both of which these startling actions by Lacabe have proven so well.